Using Aromatherapy and Essential Oils
If you’re looking for a natural way to boost focus and energy, relieve congestion, or even help you sleep, essential oils could help. With the earliest use dating back to 3000-2500 B.C., there are now over 90 types of essential oils, each with unique benefits. Essential oils can be used in a variety of ways, including topically, in a diffuser, or added to food.
It takes around 100 pounds of lavender to produce one pound of essential oil. This means essential oils are extremely potent, and can be “up to 100 times more potent than the plant itself.” When diffusing oils, depending on the size of the diffuser, you will typically only need about 2-4 drops. If applying the oil topically, be sure to combine with a carrier oil to prevent skin irritation. Some common carrier oils include coconut oil, rosehip oil, and grapeseed oil.
10 Common Essential Oils
Frankincense Oil: This essential oil can support focus, boost the immune system, and “promote feelings of peace and overall wellness.” It has a wide variety of uses and can additionally be used to heal skin and remove signs of aging. Finally, it can aid with digestion and promote healthier sleep patterns.
Lavender Oil: Lavender is known for its calming effects and is most often used to promote sleep and ease anxiety and tension. This calming effect is created by the high levels of linalool present in the lavender that is known to ease stress and promote relaxation.
Lemon Oil: Lemon oil is an incredibly versatile oil, known for its purifying and cleansing properties, as well as its ability to increase energy and boost mood. Lemon oil can be used as a natural cleaning agent in the home, allowing families to cut down on the use of cleaners containing toxins. This oil can also be diffused to boost energy and get you ready for the day.
Orange Oil: This essential oil has “an energizing aroma that can uplift the mood and body” and is another oil than can be used in cleaning and disinfecting the house to prevent infection. Orange oil is also known for its immune-boosting properties, aid in cognitive function, and mood and energy boosting scent.
Peppermint Oil: This essential oil repels bugs and aids in digestive problems such as gas and heartburn, in addition to relieving headaches and killing germs. To add to this long list of uses, peppermint oil can also help with congestion and remove redness and irritation from skin.
Tea Tree Oil: Tea tree oil is known for its healing and purifying properties. Often used during the rough cold seasons, it can purify the air and help clear congestion. In addition, it can be used to treat athlete’s foot, reduce dandruff, and treat bad breath. Finally, this oil can also be used as an insect repellent if planning to spend extended periods outside.
Grapefruit Oil: This essential oil has a sweet, citrus, and energizing scent that may reduce cravings and increase motivation to stick to your diet. It can also be used to tone your skin, reduce inflammation, and help fight jet lag with a boost of energy. Like many other essential oils, it can be used as a natural cleaning agent to disinfect rooms like bathrooms and kitchens.
Eucalyptus Oil: Another purifying agent, eucalyptus oil is mostly used to cleanse the air and household surfaces. One suggested use is combining eucalyptus oil, lemon oil, and peppermint oil with water and vinegar, adding this mixture to a spray bottle, and using this to wipe down kitchen and bathroom surfaces. Eucalyptus is also perfect for the cold season and can be combined with tea tree oil to rapidly clear up bacteria and congestion.
Chamomile Oil: Much like lavender, chamomile oil promotes relaxation and sleep, while providing an uplifted mood. It also fights bacteria in the mouth, as well as acne and sores. Finally, this essential oil can be used to relieve digestive problems and support youthful looking skin and hair.
Patchouli Oil: Patchouli oil is often used in skincare and lotions to promote healing, and can also be used to reduce fatigue and relieve depression and anxiety. Additionally, this oil has been shown to aid in balancing hormones and reducing bloating.
When to Use Essential Oils
Essential oils such as peppermint or tea tree oil can be used to clear clogged sinuses first thing in the morning, especially during cold and flu season, and promote energy to start the day. Orange and lemon oils are also used for their strong, energy-boosting scents to lift mood and increase energy, making them perfect oils to use in the morning or for a midday pick-me-up.
With its ability to boost focus and promote a sense of peace, frankincense is ideal for the afternoon. It can be used to increase your focus at work or give you the motivation you need to push through your busy day. Additional oils with energy-boosting scents include orange oil, lemon oil, and grapefruit oil. Try diluting with a carrier oil and applying a few drops to your temples or wrists.
In the evening, it is best to wind down with essential oils that promote relaxation and can help you drift off to sleep. Oils like lavender and chamomile are perfect for the evening and right before bed. During the winter months, adding lavender with eucalyptus or tea tree to a diffuser can help purify the air, clear congestion, and promote sleep.
When looking for new ways to relieve stress or congestion or to strengthen your immune system this winter, try essential oils. Start by diffusing a few drops of lavender and eucalyptus at bedtime, and switch to different oils based on your scent preference or health needs. With so many different scents and benefits, there is sure to be an oil for you!